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.s. consulate in benghazi, libya, in the last 24 hours, at times like this, frankly all of any president's public appearances have a higher than normal potential to make real news. so we are going to be monitoring the president's campaign speech, and if he makes comments about the protests in libya, we will bring that to you. the president just sat down with an interview with jose diaz balart, the host of telemundo on our sister network. excerpts of this interview are going to air on telemundo tomorrow morning and also ton their nightly news show jose diaz balart at 6:30 p.m. but what we've got right now is exclusive. with you're about to see here has not been seen anywhere until now. this is the president of the united states, giving his first extended response to questions about yesterday's events in benghazi, libya and in cairo, egypt. >> mr. president, for the first time since 1979, a sitting ambassador, christopher stevens, plus three other americans were killed in the line of duty. we send more than a billion dollars a year to egypt, tens of millions to libya after its liberation.
. at the u.s. kons late in benghazi, at least one american staff member was killed after they stormed the compound and burned it down. looking at the scene, you can hear gunshots going off. the attackers were armed with automatic rifles and grenades. libyan forces stationed there were said to have done little to stop the violence. in egypt, protesters scaled walls destroying the american flag, ripping it to shreds and replacing it with a black, islamic banner. the diplomatic staff had been evacua evacuated. both incidents in reaction to a little known akture movie produced in the u.s. po ridicule the profit mo hammed. the same guy that triggered deadly riots in afghanistan by threatening to burn the koran. the american embassy prepared a statement reading the united states embassy condemns the efforts of misguided individuals to hurt the feelings of muslims. respect for religious beliefs is a corner stone of american democracy. we reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt others. romney holding political attacks lifted the embargo shortly after m
, the ambassador who was killed on the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi two nights ago. christopher stevens was an arabic speaker, a longtime student of libya. he had lived in the kuchb country on and off for a long time. he understood the country well. in 2008 he wrote what in retrospect now seems to be an important and chilling memo about this particular place in libya. see, we'll show you. this is where libya is on the map of north africa. see libya sort of juts into the mediterranean at two different points, on the west side and on the east side. on the western side there, you see is tripoli. that is the capital of libya. but it is way over on the other peninsula on the right on the eastern part of the country where the city of benghazi is located. this place that christopher stevens, our ambassador who was just killed, the place he wrote about in 2008 in this cable that was uncovered by wikileaks, it's right there next to benghazi, the city of derna. in order to understand how it is we just had an ambassador murdered, it's worth knowing what the ambassador had to say about this flas pl
killed in tuesday's attack in benghazi, libya. meantime angry protests spread today throughout the muslim world including jerusalem and the west bank along gaza. u.n. peacekeepers were also attacked by protesters. no casualties reported. in tunisia protesters stormed the u.s. embassy setting fires and battling with tunisian security forces. two people were killed. another 29 injured. in all protests broke out today in at least 17 nations from north africa across the middle east to indonesia. all the demonstrators voicing outrage against that film made in the united states that ridicules the prophet mohammed. nbc's jim maceda is in that country. we hope to have him join us later. joining me now, andrea mitchell, most of "andrea mitchell reports," andrea i'll start off with you. the ceremony you were talking about when bodies were returned after the attacks on the embassy in 1998 you were there. this is something that many people in my generation never witnessed and never seen in our lifetimes. an ambassador his remains and those of his colleagues brought back in this country. >> it is the
to determine if the deadly attack against the compound in benghazi that killed four was a planned terror strike or a spontaneous backlash from an anti islamic video posted on youtube. >>> while the investigation remains in the very early stages, details are emerging about what happened tuesday night in benghazi that left four americans dead, including 52-year-old ambassador chris stevens, widely reported as one of the most successful envoys in the region. according to first reports from administration officials, the american consulate came under small arms fire around 10:00 p.m. local time. a short time after that the outside walls of the lightly guarded compound were breached. gunmen began attacking the main building and setting it on fire. at this point three people remained inside the consulate, ambassador stevens, another staff member named sean smith. amid the chaos and heavy smoke, ambassador stevens was missing for 12 hours before his body was located wednesday night at a benghazi hospital, apparently transported there by libyan police. according to the associated press a doctor who trie
's get to work. the four victims of the assault on the u.s. diplomatic mission in benghazi, libya, were honored today at andrews air force base. coffins carrying the bodies of the slain diplomats arrived in the united states on a military plane from libya. president obama spoke of the sacrifice made by the foreign service workers. the president was joined by his national security team including secretary of state hillary clinton. overseas protests spread across 17 different countries in the middle east as anger mounted over a strange and mysterious and very low-budget film denigrating the prophet muham d muhammad. in cairo, one protester was killed today in a clash with police blocking the way to the u.s. embassy. we'll be monitoring the events in the middle east and will bring you developments immediately. back here, there has been a key question since the romney/ryan ticket launched their attack on the obama administration's handling of the events in libya and egypt. that question is, what would they is done differently? and the answer, according to the romney/ryan campaign, is if we
." a short time later, the state department confirmed the u.s. diplomatic mission in benghazi, libya, was under attack. searches for the british monitoring group called it a well-planned assault that occurred in two wavs. the sources said the attack involved a group of about 20 militants and included heavy artillery, machine guns, and rocket-propelled grenades. by morning, it was confirmed that four american diplomats, including the u.s. ambassador to libya, christopher stevens, were killed in the attack. that makes stevens the first ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1988, when arnold raphael, the ambassador to pakistan, died alongside the president of pakistan in an unexplained plane crash. president obama addressed the nation from the white house rose garden this morning. about 50 u.s. marines were deployed to libya and two u.s. warships are headed towards the libyan coast. secretary of state hillary clinton addressed the sad irony of the attacks in the wake of the u.s. support of the libyan revolution. >> today many americans are asking, indeed, i asked myself, how could
envoy to the rebel opposition. he arrived on a cargo ship in the port of benghazi and began building relationships with libya's revolutionairies. he risked his life to stop a tyrant and gave his life trying to help build a better libya. the world needs more chris stevens. i spoke with his sister, ann, this morning, and told her that he will be remembered as a hero by many nations. sean smith was an air force veteran. he spent ten years as an information management officer in the state department. he was posted and was in libya on a brief temporary assignment. he was a husband to his wife, heather, to whom i spoke this morning, and he was a father to two young children, samantha and nathan. they will grow up being proud of the service their father gave to our country, service that took him to baghdad and finally to benghazi. the mission that drew chris and sean and their colleagues to libya is both noble and necessary. and we and the people of libya honor their memory by carrying it forward. this is not easy. today many americans are asking indeed, i asked myself, how could this happe
into the election. >> and yet his numbers have gone down since what happened in benghazi, we have seen that the presidented is not as strong on foreign affairs. and it was interesting joe emeka talked to the former president clinton and they asked him whether or not this was a mistake not to meet with other foreign leaders and he paused with what might be considered an uncomfortable pause and then he said this. >> looked to me like again from observing it that the president was reluctant to have one meeting and in the u.n. schedule where normally he'll have 15 because of the nearness of the campaign. >> and as we watch the presidentpresident presidented arriving at the united nations, what about the optics of this? >> i think he couldn't have had one meeting with bibi netanyahu and walked away. if he did this, would he have had to meet with several people, morsi, other allies in europe. i'm surprised that it came down to one or none. it should have been several or none. none being the political calculus and several being the white house presidential calculus. >> let's it talk about the
, president obama condemned the attack in benghazi that led to the death of four americans including the death of ambassador chris steven. >> we will not waiver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act and make no mistake justice will be done. >> joining me chief foreign correspondent richard engel in cairo ro and nicolas burns former ambassador to nato and professor at the harvard kennedy school. first to you, richard, you've been out there all day. tell me about what's happening in cairo right now and your recap of what sparked the attacks both in cairo and benghazi? >> i think it's important to differentiate between the two because they're very different kinds of demonstrations and attacks. right now in cairo, there is still a demonstration going on, a couple hundred, maybe not even that many, hardline supporters, most of them were members of the islamic group, supporters of the old blind cleric, from the first world trade center attack. they have been organizing demonstrations in front of the u.s. embassy for a long time now and they were the core group that went
worlds. [ booi ] >> what really happened during the attacks on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. john mccain lash out after the first time it was a terrorist attack. >> thought it was some kind of spontaneous demonstration, shows the level of their -- the abysmal level of their knowledge about fundamental aspects of terrorist attacks. >> and amy polar goes to washington. the "parks an recreation" star kicks off with real politics. >> are you okay? >> i would like you to leave and give me privacy here please. >> good day. i'm andrea mitchell live in new york. our new nbc news battleground map has a key shift in a crucial state. iowa has moved from toss up to lean obama president. the current electoral math means president obama would have to carry only florida from the remaining battleground states and hold on to where he is ahead to win. joining me for our daily fix, "usa today" washington bureau chief susan page and nbc senior political editor mark murray. first to you on the new battleground states, let's take a look at the map and the significance of what the president has accomplishe
with breaking news. it's international. it's out of libya this evening in the city of benghazi. a mob descended on the u.s. consulate in benghazi today and set it on fire. witnesses say explosions were heard nearby and the men who attacked the american building were armed. there are conflicting reports about exactly how grave the attack was on the u.s. consulate. some are siting that a staffer, an american official was killed in the attack on the consulate. now while the state department has condemned the attack, officials are saying it's impossible to confirm the reporting about the potential death of a u.s. official in libya. at least at this time it is impossible to confirm it. nbc news is working to confirm that report. it's based on comments from a libyan official at this time. >>> also today in cairo, a group of protesters there breached the outer walls of the u.s. embassy in cairo. the embassy has been described as fortress-like. you can see that in some of the images. the protesters in cairo reportedly luted some of the buildings inside these outer walls after they breached the perimete
the people in his consulate and benghazi. on top of that, and distracting from it, is this sort of side show. explain how you put it together, all that happened today. >> first i want to say to the families of the four americans who died as well as american diplomats, this is a very tough day. we need them to be safe and being able to perform their jobs. the arab spring is going to involve the u.s. but also diplomatic efforts. it's a very tough day for america. in that context, i think that governor romney has every right and obligation to criticize the current administration's foreign policy but to go out without knowing all of the facts and to go off at a time when if he had something to say he could have said it at the white house. i think it's a mistake politically. in the long run i think it's a mistake politically. it cuts him off from most republicans on capitol hill who, as howard said, have not been outspoken and i think it's the wrong thing to do. he's right to criticize and make points. if he has good points to make about how it's a failure of the president's leadership, let him d
consulate in benghazi was attacked. militants set fire to buildings and cars. by 7:00 p.m., there are reports that a diplomat was killed in benghazi in the violence and just after 10:00 p.m., the state department confirms those reports. and at 10:25 p.m., amidst the chaos and confusion of this breaking news, mitt romney decides to make a political statement. it says, quote, it's disgraceful that the obama administration's first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who raised the attacks. but mr. romney was wrong. when he said the first embassy statement was a response to the attacks, in fact, it came six hours before the embassy was breached. and that's why it's so appalling to hear mr. romney this morning when he took his statements even further. >> the embassy is the administration. the statement that came from the administration was a statement which is akin to an apology and i think was a severe miscalculation. it's their administration spoke. the president takes responsibility, not just for the words that come
tamron hall. following developments of four diplomats killed in benghazi. right now, hundreds of u.s. marines are on their way to bolster security at the u.s. embassy in tripoli as embassies across the region are on high alert. meanwhile, americans in algeria and egypt told to avoid crowded places. the violence started with the storming of the u.s. embassy in cairo yesterday. protesters ripped down the american flag. all of this thought to be at this point a reaction to an obscure american-made film posted on the internet that rid cutes prophet muhammad. hillary clinton and president obama promised swift action. >> today we mourn four more americans who represent the very best of the united states of america. we will not waiver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act and make no mistake, justice will be done. >> the friendship between our countries born out of shared struggle will not be another casualty of this attack. a free and stable libya is still in america's interest and security. and we will not turn our back on that. >> meanwhile, mitt romney co
down the flag and didn't hurt anybody inside. in benghazi, the less like that it seems. it was a commando-style raid in benghazi where militants may have been angry about the same video but clearly moved in with a military style tactic. they had r the gs, heavy ma svein machine guns. it was two waves. that's not the spontaneous mob activity like we saw here in cairo. that's the kind of thing in benghazi carried out by a militant group, a terrorist group, by al qaeda potentially. and u.s. officials are looking in to that right now. also, wondering was it just a coincidence that the u.s. ambassador who's based in tripoli happened to be in benghazi at the very time of the attack? so, a lot of questions but it's clear now that these were two very different incidents. spontaneous uprising that resulted in no casualties here in cairo and a guerrilla assault in benghazi that killed the u.s. ambassador. >>> all right. here with us now is former u.s. ambassador mark ginsburg. mark, i want to start with the response yesterday from the u.s. embassy in cairo. what the statement the
in benghazi under way. sunday, libyan and u.s. officials had two very different versions of what happened. >> the way these perpetrators acted and moved, this leaves us with no doubt that this was preplanned. >> what happened in ben gghazi s a reaction to what had transpired hours before in cairo. >> as you see, two different versions of what supposedly happened in benghazi. protests plead spread into the weekend, the romney campaign argued the crisis exposes a stark contrast between the two candidates. >> if we project weakness, they come. if we are strong, they are -- our adversaries will not test us and our allies will respect us. >> ambassador susan rice fired back yesterday on "meet the press." >> with respect to this i think, vacuous charge of weakness, we have des mated al qaeda. osama bin laden is dead. i spend every day up at the united nations where i have to interact with 192 other countries, i know how with the united states is viewed. >> but the white house is facing growing questions about whether violent protests mean the president's early outreach to the muslim world has p
. now to libya. the new government firing the security chiefs pour benghazi today in the wake of last week's attacks on the u.s. consulate there that killed ambassador chris stevens and they're other americans. they have two different versions of that attack. >> the way these perpetrators acted and moved, this leaves us with no doubt that this was preplanned. >> what happened in benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in cairo. >> we're live from benghazi, libya. an fbi investigation now under way there. why the two versions? what are you hearing on that? >> reporter: well, they're talking about two different parts of process. on the libyan side of things, they look it from the point of the attack very deliberately in the ways the weapons were used and ammunitions were used. they were evacuated to a safehouse, and the armed gunman proceeded to follow the americans to that safehouse and continue attacking that second location, which was at a very undisclosed area, if you will, away from the embassy or the consulate. the americans
attacked the u.s. consulate and set it on fire in benghazi. president obama said in a statement this morning, quote, i strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in benghazi which took the lives of four americans including ambassador chris stevens. while the united states rejects efforts to deny great the religious rebeliefs of other, we must oppose kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public ser vabts. according to the white house, the president was informed by national security adviser yesterday afternoon as he started his weekly meeting with secretary of defense and chairman of the joint chiefs. then president obama was notified last night that ambassador stevens was unaccounted for and then this morning he was notified about his death. secretary of state hillary clinton also condemned the attacks expressing, quote, proceed noubd sadness and adding all the americans weless in yesterday's attacks made the ultimate sacrifice. we condemn in vicious and violent attack that took their lives which they had committed to helping the libyan pe
states. at the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya's second largest city, at least one american staff member was killed after gunmen stormed the compound and burned it down. we've got some amateur video here into nbc news from the scene. if you listen, you can hear gunshots going off in the background. witnesses say the attackers were armed with automatic rifles, rpgs. libyan forces stationed there said to have little to stop the violence. >>> in neighboring cairo, angry protesters scaled the fortified walls of the u.s. embassy, destroyed the american flag and replaced it with a black islamic banner. most of the u.s. diplomatic staff had already been evacuated in anticipation of this protest. both incidents reportedly are reaction to a little-known amateur movie produced in the united states which ridiculed the prophet mohammed. it gained attention because an obscure florida pastor began promoting it, the same man who triggered deadly riots in afghanistan when he threatened to burn the koran. we want to go straight to cairo where we find nbc chief foreign correspondent, richard engel.
about the security in benghazi? we know there were no marines in tripoli and certainly not in benghazi and questions were raised, here is victoria nuland former ambassador to nato and your former spokesman at the state department, she's had two of your jobs, i believe, in passing. this is her comment yesterday about embassy security. >> i think what we saw last week was that in some cases, we had governments that had a lot of will to protect us, but may have overestimated the capability of the forces that they had around and had to augment. >> there are questions about whether ambassador stevens had adequate security. we know from friends he did not like to be burdened with a lot of security. we're told he did have a diplomatic security resident officer with him. can you comment on what we need to do, you know, it's always the tension between becoming a fortress and not being engaged with the people we're supposed to be serving as diplomats? >> well job number one in any embassy or consulate is to protect your people. the state department is fund fundamentally dedicated to that. you kn
who exactly was behind last week's deadly attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. nbc's brian mooar has details. >> reporter: was the attack on the u.s. consulate in libya spontaneous, or did terrorists use a protest over an anti-islamic film as cover? >> opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. they came with heavy weapons which unfortunately are readily available in post-revolutionary lib libya. >> reporter: libya's interim president says it was coordinated by not by libyans. >> it was planned by foreigners, by people who entered the country a few months ago. >> reporter: libyan officials say they have rounded up dozens of suspects. the fbi is hoping to deliver a definitive answer on what happened but has been unable to reach the consulate in benghazi because it's still too dangerous. the waves of anti-american protests from north africa to asia appear to be ebbing but critics of current u.s. policy say the protests are not the problem. they're a symptom. >> if we all decide to rally around the video as a problem, we are going to make a s
/11 anniversary retribution of the united states because they new ambassador stevens was in benghazi. americans should have faith that the libyan examiner is very much worth pursuing. >> ambassador ginsberg, thank you very much. >> thank you. >>> up next, just 53 days to the election. of course, all this is getting politicized. we'll bring it down many the spin cycle next on this friday, september 14th. ♪ ♪ i can do anything ♪ i can do anything today ♪ i can go anywhere ♪ i can go anywhere today ♪ la la la la la la la [ male announcer ] dow solutions help millions of people by helping to make gluten free bread that doesn't taste gluten free. together, the elements of science and the human element can solve anything. solutionism. the new optimism. i'm also a survivor of ovarian a writand uterine cancers. and the human element can solve anything. i even wrote a play about that. my symptoms were a pain in my abdomen and periods that were heavier and longer than usual for me. if you have symptoms that last two weeks or longer, be brave, go to the doctor. ovarian and uterine cancers are
consulate in benghazi. the secretary of state began by offering these words of tribute. >> so we will wipe away our tears, stiffen our spines, and phase the future undaunted. and we will do it together, protecting and helping one another, just like sean, tyrone, glen, and chris always did. >> in addition to the presence of their families and the most senior members of government, this was also an opportunity for friends and colleagues to pay their respects. dozens of of state department workers boarded buses in washington to attend the ceremony. the president said those that gave their lives represented the very best of american leadership. >> the united states of america will never retreat from the world. we will never stop working for the dignity and freedom that every person deserves, whatever their creed. whatever their faith. that's the essence of american leadership. that's the spirit that sets us apart from other nations. this was their work in benghazi and this is the work we will carry out. >> but while americans mourn at home, the united states faces a growing crisis throughout m
security across the region. let's start with nbc foreign correspondent in benghazi, the most violent example the week. amin, about 50 are in custody about the attack on the consulate. many say it's not about the film. it's a smoke screen for attacks they were planned and not spontaneous. what are you hearing? >> it's important to put it in the proper perspective across the region. what happened in benghazi is different than in other places. according to libyan officials we've been speaking to and even by that assessment from u.s. ambassador to the u.n. susan rice, the protests at the benghazi were sfont nus. it's what happened during the protests in terms of attack on the u.s. consulaequenculate tha difference of opinion. libyans think it was a preplanned attack. it was a group of people that came into the country in the wake of revolution and exploited the security vacuum in the country and planned to carry out an attack on the diplomatic facility. something that happened previously over the past several months on other targets. the rest of the muslim world if you experience it is a
have available to us today, our current assessment is that what happened in benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in cairo. almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in cairo. which were prompted of course by the video. >> there's a caveat there, she said the fbi was still investigating. but the thought was it was a spontaneous reaction. a couple of days before that the libyan president said al qaeda was behind the attack. and days later, the president's spokesman, jay carney says this, it is, i think self-evident that what happened in benghazi was a terrorist attack. well if it was self-evident. then why didn't the president come out and call this exactly what it was, an act of terror on the anniversary of 9/11? >> well this is an event of great interest obviously to the public, to the news media. information was being provided reeled time. obviously you're going to know more, two weeks after an event, than a week after an event. and as ambassador rice was, that was the information from the intelligence c
americans, including the u.s. ambassador to libya. our nbc reporter is in benghazi as police close in on the consulate attackers. >> reporter: a team of fbi investigators has arrived here in benghazi. they're gogt to now begin sifting through the rebel and ashes at the u.s. consulate to identify any clues or evidence that may help them in identifying who is behind the attack that killed the u.s. ambassador and three other americans. we also understand that the libyan government for their part is cooperating with the u.s. intelligence agencies and other agencies involved in the investigation. the libyan government believes that this was a preplanned attack, that this was not a spontaneous outburst of violence as some have suggested. so far they have four individuals in their custody. they say several more are under surveillance. they are trying to see whether these individuals have any important information that can benefit the american investigation. meanwhile, u.s. intelligence assets including unmanned aerial drones are keeping an eye above the skies of benghazi and eavesdropping
of libya, there's a spontaneous demonstration tide where local benghazi with signs apologized. i think for so long, so -- so to have egypt to be a big question mark and to have him be missing in action when there's something to say for him to be considered an ally of the united states, he needs to come out and say something. >> jim frederick and richard wolf, thank you for joining me on this breaking news story. >>> coming up, rush limbaugh says that paul showing president obama in the lead are a conspiracy. i don't know how he's going to explain the latest fox news poll. and john mccain is in the rewrite tonight. in the united states senate today, he taught mitt romney a lesson. what's truly amazing about mercedes new mbrace2 system... is i can follow all my sports... catch the latest breaking news... keep in touch with friends... follow the financial headlines... find a great restaurant... and with siriusxm i can get weather forecasts... all from here. in my mercedes-benz. [ male announcer ] introducing mbrace2. the most comprehensive cloud-based telematics system on the road. it's y
gadhafi and killed in a city, benghazi, that he helped to save. i understand that there are 200 marines being sent to libya. what do we know about the tk orders? >> 200 marines who are already in the region, they are aboard one of those flat-top helicopter carriers in the iranian sea. they are called amphibious ready groups, and they are called f.a.s.t. teams prepositioned in all parts of the world, but particularly the hot middle east region as we see here. it should not take long to get those 200 marines who will be particularly equipped for the mission there in tripoli. this is not some kind of military operation or a strike of any kind. they will be armed with small arms and anti-riot gear and the like as opposed to going in for a military strike or operation. now in addition to that preparations are under way, too, to send additional f.a.s.t. teams, maybe not in the same numbers, but one to cairo and one to kabul. we know from past experience there has been violent and deadly sectarian flare ups against americans in kabul over some of the actions of american troops there that were
of militants in a place like benghazi that go against the embassy or going against the embassy and ambassadors of the embassy itself in care iro, be egypt. >> once again, the guy doesn't know what he's talking about or he's 25 years out of date. it was a product of the cold war when we had to have the ability to fight the russians on the plains of europe at the same time. that cost an awful lot of money. but we're facing a very different sort of threat now, a meta more fis threat. al qaeda, terrorism, and so on. and so the military has abandoned the two war strategy and, you know, obviously romney wants to go -- see, he still thinks that the soviet union exists and is the greatest threat we have out there. i mean, it's really remarkable that a guy who is as smart as he is is so misinformed. >> nia-malika henderson, could it be a strong intellectual footing in the cold war scenarios, they really do have a more -- i hate to say this, but an intellectual comfort between us and the russians and never really adapted to the situation where no matter how many troops we had in ben benghazi, you can't
of the american am basses door and three others after protesters stormed the embassy in benghazi. not clear exactly how the ambassador died, although officials believe it is likely his killers were an organized group who planned the attack. protesters are out again in egy egypt. the president chose his words carefully. >> would you consider the current egyptian regime an ally of the united states? >> i don't think that we would consider them an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy. they are a new government that is trying to find its way. they were democratically elected. i think that we will have to see how they respond to this incident, how they respond to, for example, maintaining the peace treaty with israel. >> i want to bring in nick kristof and look at the cover this week. the agents of outrage. we'll talk about that, as well. couldn't be happier to have the two of you and your expertise in this area. i want to start with what happened in libya and give us your perspective. these assailants were heavily armed. it they seemed to be organized. does it seem to you perhaps to have b
broke the news that the ambassador in libya was killed when protesters stormed that embassy in benghazi. this one of those strange, tragic, comic affairs. comic only in the political intrigue and perhaps stupidity here of mitt romney. >> yeah, well, this is what happens politically when you're a candidate without the facts and with few friends. he's maybe tied to the pole but he doesn't have close friends in the politics business. he got the fact wrong. it's a classic case of jumping out ahead of a fast-moving story, chasing what you think is some kind of immediate political gain. he's going after evangelicals and some other people, including some more -- some of the jewish voters who may be concerned in this sort of zianic phobic -- >> explain how he got the key fact wrong. >> he got the key fact wrong in that the cairo embassy was not responding to the people scaling the walls. the original statements by cairo embassy were long before there was any action at the embassy. >> right. >> it was a perfectly fair and judicious statement. >> to simply stay to stop putting out the movies. >>
of benghazi and the types of attacks for which those groups have claimed credit in the past, intelligence officials tell the "washington post" the fbi's tentative conclusion, their working hypothesis about what happened in libya is that that assault that killed our ambassador there, quote, was carried out by a group aligned with al qaeda. and that is in contrast to the angry mobs of irate civilians who are menacing u.s. embassies around the world today. they have been riled up by reports of this crude anti-muslim video that turned up on youtube purporting to be a trailer for a longer anti-muslim film. the origins of the film are murky, no one is actually even claiming credit for the film. youtube restricted access to it in countries where anti-muslim speech is restricted and the u.s. continues to try to convince the world just because some wing nut in america made this offensive thing, that does not mean that the u.s. government has anything to do with it. nor does it mean that the government approves of it. nor does it mean that the government should be blamed for its existence. >> we've
assessment is that what happened in benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in cairo. almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video. what we think then transpired in benghazi is that opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. they came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately are readily available in post-revolutionary libya, and they escalated into a much more violent episode. >> nbc is live for us in benghazi, libya. let's talk about the u.s. officials who are on the ground now. how many of the suspects are in custody and are there any leads on other suspects? >> alex, we had the chance yesterday to speak to libya's president, head of the general national council here. he told us he did agree with ambassador rice on one point. he believes this was a sinister, preplanned attack. this was the hallmark of foreign militants who had come into libya to exploit the security vacuum here and planned a very specific attack against the united
developing news right now. we go benghazi, libya where the u.s. government is making a big push to investigate the killing of the u.s. annual bass door and three deaths there earlier this week. the libya president had will this to say when asked who was behind the attack. >> we have assumptions. we have some information.o say d the attack. >> we have assumptions. we have some information.say wh the attack. >> we have assumptions. we have some information. and on that information that we have, we will go after the perpetrators. >> ayman is on the phone with us. what else did the libya president have to say? >> reporter: well, really programs the most interesting information that came out about those perpetrators was that they are not all libyan and that certainly comes as a surprise. one of the things that he said was that the information the libyan authorities have is that in fact foreigners were involved in the planning and execution of this attack. and one of the reasons that comes as a huge surprise to many is that while the libyan government has struggled to establish law an
current assessment is that what happened in benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video. what we think then transpired in benghazi is that opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. they came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately, are readily available in postrevolutionary libya. and it escalated into a much more violent episode. obviously, that's our best judgment now. we'll await the results of the investigation, and the president has been very clear we'll work with the libyan authorities to bring those responsible to justice. >> was there a failure here that this administration is responsible for, whether it's an intelligence failure, a failure to see this coming, or a failure adequately protect u.s. embassies and installations from a spontaneous reaction like this? >> david, i don't think so. first of all, we had no actionable intelligence to suggest that any attack o
opinions on whether the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi was premed cate tated. >> our current assessment is what happened in benghazi was, in fact, initially a response tains you reaction of what had transpired hours before in cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facilities in cairo which were prompted by the video. >> the way these perpetrators acted and moved, this leaves us with no doubt that this was preplanned, predetermined. >> nbc's ayman mohyeldin is live in libya. two wildly differing accounts as to what these attacks and the source of, you know, who executed them. i guess, in terms of the intel that you have over there, do we have any further information regarding whether they were premeditated or not? just how much this individual was the had thing that sort of set off the blaze of muslim protests across the muslim world? >> well, at this particular stage it seems it's a little bit of a hybrid between the two different accounts that we heard there between the u.s. ambassador as well as the libyan president, and they're not necessarily contradict
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